February 22, 2011

ITC Holdings Reports Increased Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2010 Results

NOVI, Mich., Feb. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

Highlights

  • Net income for the fourth quarter of $36.8 million, or $0.71 per diluted common share
  • Year-end 2010 net income of $145.7 million, or $2.84 per diluted common share
  • Capital investments of $454.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2010
  • Reaffirmed 2011 earnings per share guidance of $3.20 to $3.30 per share and capital investment guidance of $560 million to $640 million


(in thousands, except per share data)

Three months ended

December 31,


Twelve months ended

December 31,


2010


2009


2010


2009

OPERATING REVENUES

$   189,067


$   156,508


$   696,843


$  621,015









NET INCOME

$     36,779


$     33,564


$   145,678


$  130,900









DILUTED EPS

$         0.71


$         0.66


$         2.84


$        2.58












ITC Holdings Corp. (NYSE: ITC) today announced its fourth quarter and year-end results for the period ended December 31, 2010.  Net income for the quarter was $36.8 million, or $0.71 per diluted common share, compared to $33.6 million, or $0.66 per diluted common share for the fourth quarter of 2009.  Net income for the year ended December 31, 2010 was $145.7 million, or $2.84 per diluted common share, compared to $130.9 million, or $2.58 per diluted common share for the same period last year.  

For the year ended December 31, 2010, ITC invested $454.6 million in capital projects at its operating companies, including $67.1 million, $137.7 million, $232.5 million and $17.3 million at ITCTransmission, METC, ITC Midwest and ITC Great Plains, respectively.

"I am very pleased to conclude another successful quarter and year with solid operational and financial performance," said Joseph L. Welch, chairman, president and CEO of ITC. "We made substantial progress during 2010 in furthering our strategy and delivering on the commitments to both our customers and shareholders outlined in our five-year plan.  Perhaps more importantly, we also made great strides in better positioning the company for continued successful execution of our strategic plan, which we expect will provide for long-term, sustainable growth in our business."  

Reported net income for the fourth quarter of 2010 increased $3.2 million, or $0.05 per diluted common share, compared to the same period in 2009. For the year ended December 31, 2010, net income increased $14.8 million, or $0.26 per diluted common share, compared to the same period in 2009.  Results for the year-end 2009 period include $0.12 per diluted common share associated with the recognition of regulatory assets at ITC Great Plains; 2010 results do not include the recognition of any such regulatory assets.  In addition to this item, other key drivers that contributed to year-over-year variances include:

  • Fourth quarter and full year net income results increased due to higher rate base at all operating companies.
  • An increase in net income for the quarter and year-end period due to a lower consolidated effective income tax rate.
  • Increases in net income for the fourth quarter were partially offset by higher non-recoverable expenses.
  • Increases in net income for the fourth quarter and year-end periods were partially offset by higher interest expense resulting from our financing activities for ITC Holdings which were completed in late 2009.

EPS and Capital Expenditure Guidance

For 2011, ITC is reaffirming its full year earnings per share guidance of $3.20 to $3.30.  Capital investment guidance for 2011 is also being maintained at $560 to $640 million, which includes $60 to $75 million, $155 to $170 million, $225 to $250 million and $120 to $145 million for ITCTransmission, METC, ITC Midwest and ITC Great Plains, respectively.

Fourth Quarter 2010 Financial Results Detail

ITC's operating revenues for the fourth quarter increased to $189.1 million from $156.5 million for the same period last year.  This increase was primarily due to higher network revenues attributable to higher rate base at our regulated operating subsidiaries and higher recoverable expenses associated with higher operation and maintenance expenses.  In addition, the increase resulted from higher regional cost sharing revenues in 2010, due to additional capital projects that have been identified by the Midwest ISO (MISO) and the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) as eligible for regional cost sharing, and due to higher point-to-point revenues resulting from an increase in scheduled transmission flow over our transmission systems.  Other revenues also increased largely due to revenue recognized at METC for utilization of its jointly-owned lines under its transmission ownership and operating agreements.  

Operation and maintenance (O&M) expenses of $40.6 million were $12.6 million higher during the fourth quarter of 2010 compared to the same period in 2009.  This increase was primarily a result of higher vegetation management expenses, higher tower painting expenses, higher site maintenance expenses and higher equipment and structure maintenance. These increases were partially offset by lower vehicle and equipment expenses. The lower O&M expenses in 2009 were due in part to our expense mitigation efforts in 2009.

General and administrative (G&A) expenses of $24.7 million were $5.1 million higher during the fourth quarter of 2010 compared to the same period in 2009.  This increase was due in part to personnel additions, and higher professional advisory and consulting services. These increases were partially offset by lower general business expenses. G&A expenses for the fourth quarter of 2010 include a one-time, non-recoverable charge of $2.3 million associated with the organizational changes the company implemented in January 2011.  

Depreciation and amortization expenses of $21.4 million increased by $7.8 million during the fourth quarter of 2010 compared to the same period in 2009.  This increase was primarily due to a higher depreciable asset base resulting from property, plant and equipment additions.  This increase was partially offset by lower depreciation expense at ITC Midwest due primarily to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approval of a depreciation study for ITC Midwest which revised the depreciation rates used to calculate depreciation expense for the entire 2010 calendar year.  

Interest expense of $36.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2010 increased by $2.6 million compared to the same period in 2009, due to higher borrowing levels to finance capital expenditures.  This increase was partially offset by lower interest expense on our revolving credit agreements as a result of lower interest rates.

The effective income tax rate for the fourth quarter of 2010 was 34.1 percent compared to 36.4 percent the same period last year.

Year-End 2010 Financial Results Detail

ITC's operating revenues for the year ended December 31, 2010 increased to $696.8 million from $621.0 million for the same period last year.  This increase was primarily due to higher rate base at our regulated operating subsidiaries and higher recoverable expenses due primarily to higher operation and maintenance expenses.  In addition, the increase resulted from higher regional cost sharing revenues in 2010, due to additional capital projects that have been identified by MISO and SPP as eligible for regional cost sharing, and higher point-to-point revenues resulting from an increase in scheduled transmission flow over our transmission systems.  Other revenues also increased largely due to revenue recognized at METC for utilization of its jointly-owned lines under its transmission ownership and operating agreements.  

O&M expenses of $126.5 million were $30.8 million higher for the year ended December 31, 2010 compared to the same period in 2009.  This increase was primarily a result of higher vegetation management expenses, higher equipment and structure maintenance expenses, higher tower painting expenses and higher substation facility maintenance expenses.  The lower O&M expenses in 2009 were due in part to the expense mitigation efforts in 2009.

G&A expenses of $78.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2010 were $8.9 million higher compared to the same period in 2009. This increase was largely a result of the reduction of expenses in 2009 in connection with the recognition of regulatory assets at ITC Great Plains which did not reoccur in 2010. In addition, G&A expenses increased due in part to personnel additions, higher stock compensation expenses and higher expense associated with development bonuses.  These increases were offset by lower professional advisory and consulting services as well as lower general business expenses.  G&A expenses for the year ended December 31, 2010 include a one-time, non-recoverable charge of $2.3 million associated with the organizational changes the company implemented in January 2011.  

Depreciation and amortization expenses of $87.0 million increased by $1.0 million during the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to the same period in 2009.  This increase was due to a higher depreciable rate base resulting from property, plant and equipment additions.  This increase was partially offset by lower depreciation expense at ITC Midwest due primarily to the FERC approval of a depreciation study for ITC Midwest which revised the depreciation rates used to calculate depreciation expense for the entire 2010 calendar year.  

Interest expense of $142.6 million increased $12.3 million in 2010, due to higher borrowing levels to finance capital expenditures.  This increase was partially offset by lower interest expense on our revolving credit agreements as a result of lower interest rates.

The effective income tax rate for the year ended December 31, 2010 was 36.1 percent compared to 37.2 percent in 2009.

Fourth Quarter and Year-End Conference Call

ITC will conduct a conference call to discuss fourth quarter and year-end 2010 earnings results at 11:00 a.m. ET on February 23, 2011.  Joseph L. Welch, chairman, president and CEO, will provide a business overview, and Cameron M. Bready, executive vice president, treasurer and CFO, will discuss the financial results.  Individuals wishing to participate in the conference call may dial toll-free (877) 644-1296 (domestic) or (914) 495-8555 (international); there is no passcode.  A listen-only live webcast of the conference call, including accompanying slides and the Earnings Release, will be available on the company's investor information page at http://investor.itc-holdings.com/events.cfm.  The conference call replay, available through February 28, 2011, can be accessed by dialing toll-free (800) 642-1687 (domestic) or (706) 645-9291 (international), passcode 41929558. The webcast will also be archived on the ITC website at http://investor.itc-holdings.com/events.cfm.

Other Available Information

More detail about the 2010 year-end results may be found in ITC's Form 10-K filing. Once filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, an electronic copy of our 10-K can be found at our website, http://investor.itc-holdings.com. Written copies can also be made available by contacting us either through our website or the phone listings below.

About ITC Holdings Corp.

ITC Holdings Corp. (NYSE: ITC) invests in the electricity transmission grid to improve electric reliability, expand access to markets, lower the overall cost of delivered energy and allow new generating resources to interconnect to its transmission systems. The largest independent electricity transmission company in the country, ITC currently operates high-voltage transmission systems and assets in Michigan's Lower Peninsula and portions of Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois , Missouri and Kansas, serving a combined peak load in excess of 25,000 megawatts through its regulated operating subsidiaries, ITCTransmission, Michigan Electric Transmission Company (METC), ITC Midwest and ITC Great Plains.  ITC also focuses on further expansion in areas where significant transmission system improvements are needed through ITC Grid Development and its subsidiaries.  For more information, please visit: http://www.itc-holdings.com. (itc-ITC)

Safe Harbor Statement

This press release contains certain statements that describe our management's beliefs concerning future business conditions, plans and prospects, growth opportunities and the outlook for our business and the electricity transmission industry based upon information currently available. Such statements are "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Wherever possible, we have identified these forward-looking statements by words such as "will," "may," "anticipates," "believes," "intends," "estimates," "expects," "projects" and similar phrases. These forward-looking statements are based upon assumptions our management believes are reasonable.  Such forward looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause our actual results, performance and achievements to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, these statements, including, among others, the risks and uncertainties disclosed in our annual report on Form 10-K and our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time.

Because our forward-looking statements are based on estimates and assumptions that are subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control or are subject to change, actual results could be materially different and any or all of our forward-looking statements may turn out to be wrong.  Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date made and can be affected by assumptions we might make or by known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Many factors mentioned in our discussion in this release and in our annual and quarterly reports will be important in determining future results. Consequently, we cannot assure you that our expectations or forecasts expressed in such forward-looking statements will be achieved. Actual future results may vary materially. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to publicly update any of our forward-looking or other statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.


ITC HOLDINGS CORP. AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS





(in thousands, except per share data)

Three months ended


Twelve months ended


December 31,


December 31,


2010


2009


2010


2009

OPERATING REVENUES

$  189,067


$  156,508


$  696,843


$  621,015









OPERATING EXPENSES
















Operation and maintenance

40,557


27,938


126,528


95,730

General and administrative

24,727


19,578


78,120


69,231

Depreciation and amortization

21,438


13,624


86,976


85,949

Taxes other than income taxes

12,118


11,146


48,195


43,905

Other operating income and expense — net

365


(660)


(297)


(667)

Total operating expenses

99,205


71,626


339,522


294,148









OPERATING INCOME

89,862


84,882


357,321


326,867









OTHER EXPENSES (INCOME)
















Interest expense

36,103


33,543


142,553


130,209

Allowance for equity funds used during construction

(3,249)


(3,441)


(13,412)


(13,203)

Loss on extinguishment of debt

-


1,263


-


1,263

Other income

318


(306)


(2,340)


(2,792)

Other expense

863


1,070


2,588


2,918

Total other expenses (income)

34,035


32,129


129,389


118,395









INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAXES

55,827


52,753


227,932


208,472









INCOME TAX PROVISION

19,048


19,189


82,254


77,572









NET INCOME

$   36,779


$   33,564


$  145,678


$  130,900









Basic earnings per common share

$      0.73


$      0.67


$      2.89


$      2.62

Diluted earnings per common share

$      0.71


$      0.66


$      2.84


$      2.58









Dividends declared per common share

$    0.335


$    0.320


$    1.310


$    1.250





ITC HOLDINGS CORP. AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF FINANCIAL POSITION





(in thousands, except share data)

December 31,


December 31,


2010


2009

ASSETS




Current assets




Cash and cash equivalents

$   95,109


$   74,853

Accounts receivable

80,417


72,352

Inventory

42,286


36,834

Deferred income taxes


23,859

Regulatory assets revenue accruals, including accrued interest

28,637


82,871

Other

5,293


3,244

Total current assets

251,742


294,013





Property, plant and equipment (net of accumulated depreciation and

amortization of $1,129,669 and $1,051,045, respectively)

2,872,277


2,542,064

Other assets




Goodwill

950,163


950,163

Intangible assets (net of accumulated amortization of $12,176 and $9,095,

respectively)

49,985


51,987

Regulatory assets revenue accruals, including accrued interest

3,947


20,406

Other regulatory assets

138,152


134,924

Deferred financing fees (net of accumulated amortization of $11,750 and

$9,616, respectively)

19,949


21,672

Other

21,658


14,487

Total other assets

1,183,854


1,193,639

TOTAL ASSETS

$ 4,307,873


$ 4,029,716





LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY




Current liabilities




Accounts payable

$   66,953


$   43,508

Accrued payroll

18,606


13,648

Accrued interest

42,725


39,099

Accrued taxes

19,461


21,188

Regulatory liabilities — revenue deferrals, including accrued interest

17,658


Refundable deposits from generators for transmission network upgrades

10,492


25,891

Other

6,509


3,344

Total current liabilities

182,404


146,678





Accrued pension and postretirement liabilities

35,811


31,158

Deferred income taxes

314,979


255,516

Regulatory liabilities — revenue deferrals, including accrued interest

43,202


10,238

Regulatory liabilities — accrued asset removal costs

90,987


112,430

Refundable deposits from generators for transmission network upgrades

14,515


17,664

Other

11,646


10,111

Long-term debt

2,496,896


2,434,398

Commitments and contingent liabilities








STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY




Common stock, without par value, 100,000,000 shares authorized, 50,715,805 and 50,084,061 shares issued and outstanding at December 31, 2010 and December 31, 2009, respectively

886,808


862,512

Retained earnings

229,437


149,776

Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss)

1,188


(765)

Total stockholders' equity

1,117,433


1,011,523

TOTAL LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY

$ 4,307,873


$ 4,029,716



ITC HOLDINGS CORP. AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS





(in thousands)

Twelve months ended


December 31,


2010


2009

CASH FLOWS FROM OPERATING ACTIVITIES




Net income

$  145,678


$ 130,900

Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities:




Depreciation and amortization expense

86,976


85,949

Revenue accruals and deferrals — including accrued interest

121,315


10,912

Deferred income tax expense

76,746


75,001

Allowance for equity funds used during construction

(13,412)


(13,203)

Recognition of ITC Great Plains regulatory assets

-


(8,191)

Other

13,991


13,820

Changes in assets and liabilities, exclusive of changes shown separately:




Accounts receivable

(9,479)


(12,986)

Inventory

(5,452)


(14,599)

Other current assets

(2,049)


903

Accounts payable

2,210


(6,097)

Accrued payroll

4,893


2,003

Accrued interest

3,626


1,320

Accrued taxes

(2,071)


3,073

Other current liabilities

2,770


(2,049)

Other non-current assets and liabilities, net

(2,409)


1,179

Net cash provided by operating activities

423,333


267,935





CASH FLOWS FROM INVESTING ACTIVITIES




Expenditures for property, plant and equipment

(388,401)


(404,514)

Proceeds from sale of securities

14,576


1,182

Purchases of securities

(14,587)


(5,309)

Other

(449)


(321)

Net cash used in investing activities

(388,861)


(408,962)





CASH FLOWS FROM FINANCING ACTIVITIES




Issuance of long-term debt

90,000


333,670

Repayment of long-term debt

-


(100,000)

Borrowings under revolving credit agreements

475,627


623,966

Repayments of revolving credit agreements

(503,593)


(671,834)

Issuance of common stock

8,908


3,575

Dividends on common stock

(66,041)


(62,408)

Refundable deposits from generators for transmission network upgrades

21,618


40,279

Repayment of refundable deposits from generators for transmission network upgrades

(39,913)


(5,228)

Other

(822)


(4,250)

Net cash (used in) provided by financing activities

(14,216)


157,770





NET INCREASE IN CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS

20,256


16,743





CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS — Beginning of period

74,853


58,110

CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS — End of period

$   95,109


$   74,853








SOURCE ITC Holdings Corp.

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